Friday, June 19, 2009

Amanda C. Queen's Membership Record

I recently gained access to images of some additional original records for the Beech Creek, Tennessee Branch of the LDS Church. And on the first page I find Amanda C. Queen. Long time readers will recall Amanda Queen from a previous post. In that post I noted I had no proof that she or her husband were even members. Well, I now have Amanda's baptismal date June 22, 1882. Right next to her name is a note in a different handwriting "Cut off for apostasy July 18, 1886 by Eld. Markham"

What I don't see in her husband's baptismal date. The record book at which I am looking was started in March of 1882, so his baptism, if it did happen, may have been recorded earlier, and in a different book.

Furthermore, Amanda claimed that she and her husband had emigrated to Utah. In the remarks section along the right side of the book are notes about other people too. Two of them say "emigrated to Utah in 1883." A third says "emigrated to Idaho in 1883." Amanda Queen's entry has no such note. In several ways I believe this record supports my original conclusion; that she made up a grand lie to explain why she returned without her husband.

I know you probably won't be able to read it, but here is a sample of what the book looks like. Amanda's entry in the ninth one from the top. Notice the different handwriting after her name in the remarks section.
Interestingly enough, I found the older the record, the more readable the handwriting gets. I think there are two reasons for this. First, the earlier records are all written by a single writer. This makes it easier to decipher hard to read words or letter since I have several examples at which to look and compare. Second, handwriting was some much more important to earlier generations. He have all heard the story about Heber J. Grant's tenacity in developing his handwriting. The closer you get to today's generation, the less emphasis there was on having great handwriting.


Ardis E. Parshall said...

It's fun to see the story develop, and to have confirmation that your historical instincts are working right. Some people would accept Amanda's story at face value, but look what you've done by challenging it.

Where are you finding images of the branch records that you've mentioned several times recently? (I'm not asking you to reveal your secret fishin' holes if the sources aren't completely public -- just a general indication would satisfy my curiosity. If you can do it for Tennessee, I'm thinking others could do it for their locales, too.)

BruceCrow said...

Well, I could say something vague like "oh from all over" but you will know better. Most of my sources are ones you probably have already seen or know about.

The one I think you are wondering about is a microfilm of the record books the missionaries used to keep. The particular film I am using has the oldest Tennessee
records with some that straddle the borders with other states. I ordered it to be sent to my local family history library (and paid $18 for a permanent copy). I haven't even made it all they way through the film yet, but what I have seen is great; full of original records. And you know how I love original records.

Yes, these records are available for other locations. And you can have them sent to your local FHL. The "How to" would make a good post.